2003-01-04 / Community

WILPF: No Violent Toys

WILPF: No Violent Toys

As is customary during these gift-sharing holidays, members and friends of Rockaway Branch of Women's international league for Peace and Freedom (WILPF) brought their message of "Stop the Violence in Children's Lives" to throngs of holiday shoppers.  At the parking lot and entrances to Toys'R'Us on Flatbush Avenue, the group distributed 500 leaflets that urged parents and grandparents, aunts and uncles -- in these verses, among others – to
"Give them blocks for building peace;
 Our youth can make it true.
And toys that make a game of war
Should never come from you!
Tools and science sets and paints
And books of other lands
Should now replace the things of war
In all our children's hands."

The leaflet, which was produced by Pax Christi Queens, reminded readers that "our gifts [should be] one means by which we are messengers of peace.

Just as we learn to fight, we can learn the creative alternative of
nonviolence.  Play is one of the greatest teachers.  Let the gifts you give
the young people in your life cultivate the skills of peacemaking.  Instead
of toy guns and tanks or video games that require mutilation and death to
win, give life-affirming gifts."  And the leaflet then presents a list of
good examples.

Response to the message was friendly and positive.  Some parents
expressed gratitude.  Additional leaflets were requested by a number of
people, and one donation to WILPF was proffered!

WILPF's January activity is focused on a major demonstration that is
planned for the January 18 to 20 weekend in Washington.  A huge coalition of peace, religious, labor, educational, environmental, political, youth, and cultural organizations will gather those days to "Say NO to War" and to try to persuade the Bush administration that a unilateral preemptive strike against Iraq would be counterproductive to the security needs of our own country.  Members and friends of WILPF (and of Pax Christsi Queens) plan to attend the rally.  Detailed information is available from either organization.
Rockaway residents will be attending the event.    

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